Nick Kyrgios continued his run to the Wimbledon final with a return to the Citi Open final.
The Australian beat Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in straight sets on Saturday night, 7-6(4), 6-3 to advance to his second Citi Open final. He won the tournament the last time he did so in 2019.
“I think, you know, it’s just kind of a result of the last six months, I think for me, the amount of work I’ve done,” Kyrgios said. “You know, consciously trying every day to form good habits, to be positive, to try to work on new things on the pitch.”
His hammering service game was the difference throughout, forcing Ymer to set up well beyond the baseline – sometimes 10 or 15 feet deep – for a chance of a return. The Swede never deserved a single break point chance.
“Whenever I’m in training I really try to work on things, just train hard. I just dedicate myself a bit more, I think too,” Kyrgios said. more obsessed with seeing what I can actually do on the tennis court.”
The contest, the first meeting between the two, featured Kyrgios’ usual conversations – sometimes with himself, sometimes with his box of supporters. This included once pointing out to them that he was getting more support from a packed house at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center, noting that he didn’t “even know these people from a bar of soap.”
Kyrgios got his window to break Ymer’s serve in the second set leading 4-3. Ymer double faulted in the middle of his match, which ultimately ended in two points. Under the advantage, Ymer charged a serve and volley tactic at the net which was dispatched by Kyrgios to win the game. He would serve the next to win the match.
Ymer completes a sensational tournament which saw him play four consecutive straight sets before the entanglement with Kyrgios. His efforts allow him to climb 39 places to 76th in the world when the latest rankings are published.
The unranked Kyrgios will face the also unranked Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, who stunned world number 8 and top-seeded Andrey Rublev in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. It’s the fourth consecutive seed the former Washington Kastle has beaten on his way to the ATP 500 Finals here, joining Alex de Minaur (11), Karen Khachanov (7) and Daniel Evans (16). Rublev hadn’t dropped a set on his way to the semis before facing Nishioka.
“I think maybe sometimes I need to be relaxed like that,” Nishioka said of this game this week. “Just come here and play the tournament, and then I don’t have to be pressured and I don’t think that much.”
“The players he’s beaten this week are really, really tough players: Evans, Rublev, Khachanov, Brooksby. De Minaur won Atlanta so obviously he’s playing great tennis to beat those guys,” said Kyrgios: “I have to be in top form.”